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Budget deal approved in committee, final push set for today, last day of fiscal year

The budget deal reached by legislative leaders and Gov. Jan Brewer took one step closer to getting a full vote by the Senate.

But whether the budget packet has enough support to pass on the floor remains a big question as the Senate adjourned late into the night June 29.

After a three-hour deliberation, the Senate Education Accountability and Reform Committee approved a set of budget bills that includes a referral to the ballot for a tax increase. The packet also contains a proposal for a flat individual income tax rate of 2.8 percent.

Sen. John Huppenthal, chairman of the committee, said he would support referring a sales tax increase to voters only if the budget package came with the flat tax.

“It’s key that it’d be an entire package,” he said.

The budget measures’ next stop is the Senate floor for a debate and a vote.

The Senate will reconvene today (June 30), the last day of the current fiscal year. Without a fiscal 2010 budget in place by the end of that day, government faces a shut down, unless lawmakers pass a continuing budget resolution to temporarily cover state expenses until a final budget is approved and signed into law.

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